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Special Writer’s Event

Writer's EventWorking on your first novel? Books to Benefit will host a special panel event on Saturday, June 24 from 1-3 p.m. at 360 Wylie Drive, Suite 700 in Normal. A panel of local published authors and illustrators will answer questions and share their experiences. Free to the public.

After the presentation, the panelists will be on hand to sell and autograph their works. Included in the panel:

Dewhitt Bingham

Born and raised in Festus, Missour, 25 miles south of St. Louis, Bingham graduated from Festus Senior High School. After graduating he attended Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri where he majored in Criminal Justice. Subsequently he attended Illinois State University and earned a Masters of Applicd Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

Since graduating, Bingham served as a McLean County probation office for 30 years. He taught classes at Heartland Community College for 20 years. In 2014 he received the Adjunct Faculty of the Year award. For 22 years he served as a board of director for YouthBuild McLean County. He is also a church elder at Integrity Deliverance Ministry for 20 years.

Bingham is the proud father of two beautiful twins, Whitney and Dewhitt II and grandfather to Juliana.

Motivated by African American men being killed by Police Officers and Police Officers being killed by African American men this author draws on his 30 years of experience as a Probation Officer, 20 years as an Adjunct Professor and 30 years as a Christian and Preacher of the gospel to minister hope regarding the crisis and makes the case that a lack of hope is implicated in an assault on empathy for African American men and Police Officers across the United States.  Further, the book puts forth that with hope all things are possible, even ridding ourselves of stereotypes from learned behavior which Bingham believes has contributed to Police and African American male killings.

Joe Chianakas

Joe Chianakas has been an educator for sixteen years, the last six as a college professor at Illinois Central College. In 2015 he won a teacher-of-the-year award.
He loves long walks through graveyards, preferably late at night. He also loves shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and will turn anyone who spoils the outcomes of those shows into victims in his next novel.

RABBIT IN RED was voted best horror book of 2016 by SIBA (Summer Indie Book Awards). It was also included in Horror Block– in fact, Chianakas is the first U.S. author to have his fiction book included in Horror Block. The second book in the series, BURN THE RABBIT, is now available and continue the celebration of the genre Chianakas loves. The final book in the series, BURY THE RABBIT, releases this fall.

Amy Orwig
Amy Orwig has been working as a freelance artist since she was in high school, when she was asked to design a poster for a women’s group at her church.  Amy has always found joy in all artistic endeavors, and has, especially, enjoyed illustrating.  She plans to do more illustrating in the future.  Amy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Art from Illinois State University.  She resides in central Illinois with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog.  You can find her on Facebook at “Amy’s Paintbox”.

During the event Books to Benefit will allow patrons one last chance to purchase used books before the next sale in November.